The Maserati Levante is more than a hulking stud. It’s your more-than-competent everyday luxury SUV. Before it went on sale in 2016, Maserati declared that it was going to be the brand’s cash cow, and the style-conscious carmaker was right on cue. Last year, of the 13,697 cars sold, 5,448 were Levantes.
Unsurprisingly, the Levante has stamped its own identity on what luxury SUVs do best, and is arguably the most important model in all of the marque’s illustrious history.
The 2018 Levante, A Balanced Ride
Maserati has made discreet improvements to its second Levante, released this year. It is tweaked to stand shoulder to shoulder against the likes of the Porsche Cayenne. The old hydraulic system finds itself replaced by an electronic power-steering system that encourages a weightier and more purposeful drive.
The good news? Your SUV can finally handle like a Maserati. Unlike most SUVs, it comes with an ideal 50:50 weight distribution, achieved through extensive use of lightweight materials. This translates to more neutral handling, better brake performance and better traction. It also conveys style and panache, honed through decades of rich, racing heritage.
Spot the Ferrari-Designed Twin-Turbo V6
Opt for the speedier S variant, if you like. In any case, the mid-sized SUV handles corners like a charm and even with a modest 345 horses, it rides with plenty of gusto. This admirable performance comes from a twin-turbo V6 engine designed by Ferrari, and it has quite a bit in common with the F154 engine in the 488 Italia. The sound of the exhaust is a delight — not barbaric, but aggressive — if you dig the aural stimulation.
Its burly nature might be intimidating, too, particularly when tackling narrow roads and ancient car parks. But lucky for you, the 2018 Levante is finally equipped with all the assistance that you need, whether you’re having highway or blind spot trouble. The navigation is effortless and satisfying from the comfort of a cocoon. The driving position is excellent too; superior and commanding, yet personable.
Looks wise, the Levante’s a stud. With so many luxury SUVs littering the market, you can always count on its Italian elegance and athletic stance to make an entrance.
The interiors are a lesson in luxury styling. It’s spacious — enough for four adults — and comes equipped with an 8.4-inch infotainment screen and a solid choice of stereo — a Bowers & Wilkins Quantum Logic surround system.
There are also two new trims — GranLusso and GranSport — which are viable options for those who want something looking a lot more luxe or sportier, respectively. The GranSport, for example, adds on massive 20-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, body-hugging front sport seats and paddle shifters. The GranLusso will offer a choice of an open-pore wood trim, and a choice of full Italian leather or Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery. You can configure your future Levante down to the last detail at the showroom itself.
Yours for $369,000 before options and COE. Add on $40,000 to upgrade to a GranLusso or GranSport, or simply drop $489,000 for the S model; it comes as a GranLusso or GranSport. Book an exclusive test drive experience through our Keyyes Membership App today
ENGINE: 2,979cc, V6
POWER: 345 horsepower at 5,750rpm
TORQUE: 500Nm at 4,500 to 5,000rpm
0-100KM/H: 6 seconds
TOP SPEED: 251km/h
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed ZF automatic